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We’ve covered the ongoing collapse at Swindon Town on here before, haven’t we? I just had a quick look through the posts and couldn’t spot it by title, but I will have another look later on this morning. For those of you that aren’t aware of what has been going on, it would appear that the days of Swindon Town are numbered – take over talks have collapsed, and news is reaching me that the players and staff have already been informed that it unlikely that they will play for the club again.
Whilst it would be absurd to describe this as a “tragedy” in the same way as one would describe, say, Hillsbrough as a tragedy, there is something very upsetting about the collapse of a professional football club. Swindon Town have had their moments of celebrity in the past – Don Rogers and the League Cup winning team of 1969 that beat Arsenal on a pitch fit only for building sandcastles upon, or the one-hundred goal conceding team of 1994, who were promoted into the Premier League only to lose their manager, Glen Hoddle, at the start of the summer. You don’t have to be particularly old to remember them or the fact that, for all their incompetence, they held Manchester United to a draw at The County Ground, Liverpool to a draw at Anfield and took four points from six off Tottenham Hotspur.
With debts believed to be in the region of £15m, Swindon had spent too long banking upon a saviour appearing from the wings. What seems to have happened this week is that time has run out – the bank won’t prop them up any more. We wish them, as we did before, all the best, but the prognosis doesn’t look promising.
Ian began writing Twohundredpercent in May 2006. He lives in Brighton. He has also written for, amongst others, Pitch Invasion, FC Business Magazine, The Score, When Saturday Comes, Stand Against Modern Football and The Football Supporter. Ian was the first winner of the Socrates Award For Not Being Dead Yet at the 2010 NOPA awards for football bloggers.
The really odd thing is, while it was on the local news bit of the BBC site, the takeover collapse story wasn’t in their sport section at all, so while the message boards were reoorting the liquidation rumours the Swindon mini-site’s top story was ‘Aljofree fears relegation battle’. (Which isn’t strictly untrue should they go under, but that’s not the point)
Last I heard Andrew Fitton was going to save the club. I hope they do find some way out of the situation but it doesn’t exactly look hopeful does it?